It's been a whirlwind Celtic Connections this year! For me it all began on 15th January with a special Admiral Fallow gig in the beautiful Mackintosh Church, Queen's Cross. In the first half, we premiered 'Common Ground' - a new piece composed for and alongside us by Steve Forman. Then we were joined by Auricle Ensemble to perform six new arrangements of our songs by Gareth Williams, Aidan O'Rourke, Phil Hague and Chris Swaffer. It was the culmination of months of preparation and hard work by all involved, and we were delighted everything went without a hitch! 

On the 17th, I was privileged to be part of a brilliant line-up for Hamish Napier's New Voices concert at the Strathclyde Suite. This was the first performance of his piece, The River, and also his solo album launch. Read more about the music and order Hamish's lovely CD here...

Then I shifted into Woven mode for the revisiting of my own New Voices music at the Mitchell Theatre on 22nd Jan. Big thanks to the Woven band (Fiona MacAskill, Mairearad Green, Ali Hutton, James Lindsay, Phil Hague and Iain Sandilands) once again; it felt quite surreal to be playing it all on the same stage two years later. A couple of nice reviews here and here.

The next day Sara Kazmi arrived from Lahore to get ready for our gig at the Old Fruitmarket on 25th Jan, where, as part of BEMIS's Burns celebration night, we reprised the collaborative material we put together for last year's Alchemy Festival. I love singing with Sara and am very excited to be visiting Lahore later this month, where we'll perform at the city's annual Literary Festival. Here's a blog I wrote for Highlight Arts last year, with a bit of an insight into our first musical meeting.

My final gig of this year's Celtic Connections saw another visit to the Old Fruitmarket, this time with Admiral Fallow on 30th Jan. We played songs from across our three albums and had a great night; it was a lovely way to round off the festival, and we were really pleased to sell out both our shows.

Since then...

I've been enjoying playing with Northern Lights Wind Quintet again. We've given two concerts - in Doune and Campbeltown - this week. The latter kicked off our February mini-tour of Argyll & Bute, supported by Enterprise Music Scotland. We'll be visiting Cowal, Bowmore, Rothesay, Lochgilphead and Oban over the next week - further details on the gigs page.

And I'm really looking forward to starting back at two community music projects for New Rhythms For Glasgow. They've got a great programme of workshops and events coming up.

The next update will probably be a post-Lahore one... I'll try and take some decent photos!

(c) Gemma Dagger